There's obviously something to this whole online viral marketing thingy. I'm more-or-less past the stage where I buy every new beer that becomes available in Dublin off licences. It's all the fault of the importers and retailers who are much better at their jobs than this blog requires them to be. Especially the guys at DrinkStore who take great pride in cramming tiny amounts of everything onto their shelves and into the "Tardis" stockroom. I'm in there fairly regularly, but I'm quite circumspect. If the price is over a tenner, I may not even buy the beer. Ordinarily, though, I'll take a bottle and give it the literal once over.
And then along came I Hardcore You, following a trail of panegyrical reviews from people who aren't generally known for their fawning fanboy antics. People like Zak Avery for instance, who was one of many to point out that one I Hardcore You is never enough. Look for a voice of dissent in the comments and you won't find it. Since a mere two cases of the beer had been delivered to DrinkStore, I took the unprecedented step of buying two bottles. Just in case I liked it and there was none left later.
Before the beer, the facts: it's a blend of BrewDog Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller's I Beat yoU. It's 9.5% ABV and dry-hopped several times. It should be a monster.
But, as everyone keeps saying, it's not. Slightly hazy, and a dark shade of amber, there's actually very little sign of all those dry hops in the aroma -- just a little wisp of grapefruit curling out of the glass. The head is short lived and it's quite full-bodied, yet sparkles enough to clean the palate as it goes.
Yes there's a hop burn, a jolt of acid on the first taste, but it's more than a one-dimensional hop-bomb. I got eucalyptus, vanilla and elderflower alongside the more normal pine and citrus. As to the much-vaunted drinkability, I'm not really seeing that. This is a sipper, and I enjoyed taking my time over it, watching the sun sink over west Dublin. I did not feel the immediate need to open the second bottle. In fact, I think I'll leave that one a while and see how the sharpness rounds out.
Not a monster, but still totally hardcore.